Train2Game News: Train2Game Radio talks to Phil Langdon

Phil LangdonI spoke to Phil Langdon yesterday who has lead quite a varied life in his lead up to joining Train2Game.

Phil spoke to me about his past careers, how Train2Game has helped him and his new game which you can download from here.

To listen to part one of the interview go here: https://audioboo.fm/boos/1640536-train2game-student-phil-langdon-talks-to-t2g-radio-part-1

Part two is here: https://audioboo.fm/boos/1640517-train2game-student-phil-langdon-talks-to-t2g-radio-part-2

OR read the transcript below:

Hello my name’s Phil Langdon, I’m doing a games designer course and I’m from London.

Hi Phil. How you doing mate?

Yeah very well thanks Mark. How are you doing?

I’m good cheers bud. So tell me a little about yourself then?

I’m forty three at the moment and I’ve done quite a few things in my life. I started off as a graphics designer in the eighties but lost touch with the computing side of it, I was doing the manual side of it, screen printing and sign writing. Then because the industry kind of died I thought to change what I was doing so I went to University and did a Maths and Physics degree, hoping that would get me a better job! It didn’t really work out like that and I am still doing bits and pieces of grafting just to make some money. Since then I was working for a firm exporting diesel engine parts and it gave me a back injury so basically it left me in my flat by myself, well I’m living with a girlfriend but I’m basically by myself. I thought to do a game designer course with Train2Game because I had what I thought was a really good idea for a game and with my design and mathematical background I thought it would be OK to get in to games, so Train2Game gave me that opportunity and that’s where I find myself today.

How have you been finding the course then since moving on to it?

To be honest, I find it quite easy in general. It’s probably because I’ve got a Mathematical background, I know graphics, I know visual communication and advertising and I’ve been in to games since I was eight years old I suppose, 1978 when Space Invaders came out and there was a massive explosion. I remember it vividly and I absolutely loved it to be honest. I saw the way games have gone over the years, I’ve been analysing it all the time and I never really thought I could get into it because in the late eighties, the issue went from being a hands on graphic designer with pen and paper to somebody who uses great computer programmes that I didn’t have access to. I always thought I’d never be able to get in to it but that’s completely changed. I find the course to be extremely relevant, everything is purtenant, I recognise everything in the course so far as being purtenant to the course. For me it’s quite but maybe that’s because I’m forty three, I don’t know. I find it very enjoyable, really enjoyable and I just get straight in to it whenever I get it out.

Excellent. It sounds like you’ve had quite a bit of experience and stuff with it then so is it coming in to your games design, those past experiences you’ve had?

Yeah, I just made a game purely based on an idea I had in spring just after I finished learning how to use Game Maker in the first part of the course. That was absolutely invaluable because they gave me an instant hands on means of creating something from my own imagination using my own skill. I think that was probably the best part of the course for me, a huge learning curve in terms of what goes in to a game, how it’s made, how you put things together, how you create the illusions.

Did you use Game Maker to create the game you had been designing then did you?

Well I’ve got four or five different game ideas but I just had one when I was going to sleep one night and I suddenly realised I could actually create it using Game Maker. What I saw in my mind, I thought that would be a fun little game and I know that Game Maker can produce that sort of a game because it is a combination of three different styles that Game Maker is really good at: Platformers, Top Down Shooting and the maze idea. I thought to combine all three, it’s a tendency of mine to use everything a programme has got and combine it in a way I’ve never seen before.

It gets the most potential out of something if you use everything.

Exactly! It’s not something good just to do that for the sake of it but if it’s required by your game idea then you’ve gotta do it.

So have you started creating that now have you with Game Maker?

Yeah it’s basically finished. I’ve got, in my opinion, an Alpha version so I put it out on the forum and I’ve already got some really interesting feedback on it and I’ve tweaked it as a result. Something was said that was really interesting that when you play your own game over and over again because you need to play test it before you present it to anyone, you end up making it really difficult because it becomes to easy as you know where everything is, you know how to defeat everything etcetera etcetera. So you need the feedback to bring you back down to Earth a little and make it some what easier which is what I’ve done.

What are your future plans for the game?

For this game the original intention would be this would be perfect for an iPad game or a mobile phone game and that’s the intention for it. Even though I’m a graphic artist and designer I can’t do really beautiful computer graphic as that’s something I’m still learning to do. So I’d want someone else to come in and help publish it and develop it a little in another studio.

So are you going to look in to the Train2Game well of students to try and find a nice artist for yourself?

Yeah, I didn’t know how far to go with that because my sister works in the industry already, She’s an animator, she’s been doing that for twenty years and she is working on adverts, doing graphics for adverts but she went to art college and had the qualifications to get in to that which I didn’t. So I’ve seen it from the inside and I know that a lot of people expect to be paid.

So finally, what do you want the future to hold for yourself?

To be honest I’d like to have my own studio with a bunch of guys and girls creating some really fun games, that’s what I’m into. I’m a bit of an indulger so when it comes to gaming it’s got to be great fun and engaging no matter what style or format it is. It’s enthusiasm to play it, that’s what I want to bring to the game. So I’d like a little studio with a bunch of people and go from there, that would be fantastic.

Yeah well good luck with everything in the future then Phil and we will talk to you soon!

OK thank you so much Mark, appreciate your time.